Looking for the word "training" on my blog leads to these disconcerting results for the last couple of years:

Watford Half Marathon (January 2009):

I've not trained much

3 Forts Marathon (April 2009):

given my nearly-inexistent training

Marathon 06 (November 2009):

with a very minimal training!

Hyde Park Relays (February 2010):

given my current general lack of serious training

Thames Source Quest (July 2010):

without much training...

PTL (August 2010):

given the extremely poor training regime I followed

Marathon 06 (November 2010):

given my minimal 3-week training plan

Hyde Park Relays (February 2011):

given my lack of training

Notice a trend here? Looking back at all the events I entered during the same period, I actually found only 4 on which I didn't complain about my training or the lack of it. Therefore in the last 2 years, I didn't train as much as I'd hope to for two third of the events I committed to!

That's for the overall picture. Now if we look more into the details, there are actually two distinct scenarios: events that I took easy on purpose, because they were not main objectives, and events where I didn't have the time and/or the motivation to train.

The former case raises the issue of using races to support my training schedule. It might sound like a good idea, as it combines the motivational and social aspects of a race with a good training session. It's also a good fitness benchmark. But the aim of a training session is not necessarily to push it as hard as possible. So can I really take it easy on such events? I often got caught in the game, and ended up faster than expected. Last year's Hardmoors 55 is a typical example, where I pushed a bit harder to finish quicker than expected. Should I set myself with a minimum finish time, and slow down if I am to finish quicker?

The latter case is slightly more worrying. I sometimes have "good" reasons not to train, but I sometimes don't. Am I getting bored of training and prefer racing or major unofficial events?

What is certain, is that my overall running volume during the 2009-2010 period is no less than during 2007-2008. I've basically trained a bit less and raced more! Meanwhile, I've reduced the number of runs, but increased the average distance. It looks like I can't be bothered to go for short runs :)

Number of events per year.

Looking back at 10 years of racing, the number of DNFs doesn't seem directly linked to the sharp increase in number and distance of races and major unofficial events.

Maximum distance of attempted and finished events.

Ultra training